FREE CASE CONSULTATIONS
HOME & HOSPITAL VISITS AVAILABLE

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are providing free consultations via PHONE or VIDEO conferencing for your safety and convenience. Our Charlotte office is OPEN during its regular hours. Please don’t hesitate to call us if you have any questions! 704-594-4317
Blog

The issue of intentionality in workplace accidents

| Mar 15, 2017 | Workplace Accidents

Workers’ compensation is that insurance that deals with North Carolina work-related injuries in a no-fault context. The idea is that, once a workers’ compensation claim is made and resolved, the employee cannot allege the employer is to blame for what happened. This is what “exclusive remedy” means.

What if the workplace accident results in death, you may ask. Here, state laws vary. Very often, the crux of a case can come down to a question of intentionality on the part of the employer.

For example, consider one recent case out of Illinois. In it, the estate of a recycling company worker who died when a mortar shell he was handling exploded in the plant, sought benefits under workers’ compensation law. According to a suit in federal court, the family claimed that the victim had not died accidentally because his employer knew the ordnance it had received from the army was live. In other words, there was an element of intentionality. Unfortunately, the judge dismissed that claim.

Specifically, the judge drew a fine line based on the language of the suit. She said the plaintiff had alleged that transporting the ordnance was the intentional act. The suit didn’t claim the employer acted intentionally to injure the victim. Because of that, she said the state’s exclusive remedy provision doesn’t allow the estate’s claim against the employer.

North Carolina law does allow workers ‘ compensation benefits to surviving dependants in certain situations. The particulars of the case determine who can recover what, and the issue of intent on the part of the employer can have a bearing.

What’s clear is that the effort of seeking workers’ compensation benefits, whether for injury or death, is a complicated matter that can benefit from the help of a skilled attorney.

ARCHIVES

See What Our Clients Say

Robert Whitlow was awesome. He made sure he was totally prepared and also that we were prepared. Because of his knowledge and professionalism our case went through without a hitch.

Stephen D.

View more

See What Our Clients Say

Robert Whitlow is a great asset to your firm. He’s personal as well as professional. I cannot thank him enough for his help!

Jeanette W.
View more

What Our Clients Say

My previous attorney lost my disability claim. I saw Attorney Robert Whitlow and he took the time to totally understand what was going on and helped me get the necessary information.

Brandi P.
View more